Okay, this is bizarre.
1) I have several domains pointing to the same home directory on my host, and my client wanted to change to a different one. (Otherwise people logged in to http://www.black.com and ended up with http://www.white.com showing in their url bar.) I went into the General settings and changed the url to another one that is pointing to the same directory.
2) I went back to the site, and the site has lost all formatting, and going to the /wp-admin shows server not found. AND typing either http://www.white.com OR http://www.black.com comes up http://www.purple.com in the URL bar, and says http://www.purple.com can't be found. I don't have a url called http://www.purple.com. (It's not impossible I mistyped the url in the General settings...)
Obviously I screwed up the database or something and I should have read the stuff on moving WordPress more carefully - but since I wasn't moving anything I didn't think... You know how it goes.
Okay, here's where it gets weird.
3. I called my hosting service, and they say none of my files are on the server. Only the original FTP upload I did in July is showing up. People all over the country have been making changes to the site (logging in to wp-admin) and they've been sticking. He said they must be on my "server" - I run a laptop on an aircard that is turned off 50% of the time, so that's not possible. It shows no file updates since July, no changes since the original FTP upload. He suggested reinstalling WordPress over top of it. I am afraid to do that in case the updated files (which are now invisible?) are somehow still there and I'll lose them.
An hour ago the site was working perfectly. How could changing the url in General cause all my updated files AND the WordPress install (he said it's not installed in my home directory, where EVERYTHING points) to disappear? It only shows wp content from July 14. No updates.
I've been making all changes on the site online since July, as have other people. No one else was online or making changes at the time. Some of the updated content (from August) shows up in basic HTML format on one of the urls, so the updated content (at least some of it) is THERE. But my hosting service says its not on their server.
So somehow all the updates, data, images, posts were going somewhere else? How is that possible? All the urls point to home, so in theory they're all looking at the same files, right?
My hosting service was totally stumped but not particularly helpful. However all indicators on his end were that no changes had been made since July. And my FTP information shows the same thing. I can't hack the database because the updated database isn't there.
Any theories??? Or at least a place to start? It has to be something stupid and simple, doesn't it???